Hiking the Jay Way
Jay Peak Resort has designated hiking routes for family-friendly strolls and routes for those seeking more of a challenge. The Summer Trail Guide, found on their website, shows the paths marked by green, blue, and black pathways, which will match the interval markers on the hill to show you are on the right path.
To the Top
Since we had three mamas and a gaggle of little’s ranging in age from 2-7, and the clouds were clearing, we decided to go true Jay style and take the Tram straight up to the summit. The iconic aerial tram runs during the summer, Thursday through Sunday from 10-6, and then runs daily during foliage season so you can enjoy those beautiful fall colors.
From the summit, you have options, you can:
- Hang out at the summit and just enjoy the view
- Scramble up the rocks and walk along the ridge
- Walk down the Northway as far as you want and then walk back up
- Enjoy a snack at the Warming Shelter Snack Bar
You can even hike down the entire mountain if you so choose. If that’s not your cup of tea, the tram runs every 30 minutes and will take you back down.
Our crew decided to do a little bit of everything. We scrambled up the rocks and enjoyed the scenic view from the top of the ridge line. The views from the top of the mountain are absolutely stunning, and the kids enjoyed guessing which way “home” was.
After a quick snack, we hiked down the Northway ski trail. Stopping as littles want to do to pick up rocks, and sticks, check out views, and eventually, before little legs got tired, we turned around and hiked back up to the tram for the return ride down to the base area.
Other Jay Peak Hikes to Consider
For a hike at lower elevations, you can hike from base area to base area and still enjoy fantastic views, wildflowers, and a moderate hike. Note: the shuttle service does not run in the summer, so you’ll either have to walk back or figure out your own transport between base areas.
Tips for a Hike at Jay Peak
- Layers: Anytime you’re going to be at elevation, bring layers. It might be warm down at the base, but whether you’re going to be hiking to the summit or taking the tram, bring warm layers because the weather can be dramatically different at the summit.
- Check Schedules: If you depend on lifts or trams for a ride down, double-check the schedule, especially the last ride of the day. Occasionally, events and other things can impact schedules, so double-check when you buy your tickets to ensure you don’t miss the last ride.
- Bring Snacks: Snacks and hydration stops are key for any physical outing.
- Turn Around: Don’t push littles too hard, don’t wait until they get tired to turn around and head for home. Take it slow, look around, pick up sticks and rocks, and if you need to cut your day short, go ahead because if they have fun today, you’ll have an easier time getting them excited to go out again tomorrow.
Sarah Borodaeff is a freelance writer, project manager, and tiny person wrangler. A snowsports enthusiast, Sarah has worked in the snowsports industry for over fifteen years as a ski coach, in marketing, and most recently as an associate editor for Ski Area Management. She is currently endeavoring to keep up with a toddler whose favorite phrase is “go outside!”